Cardinals plugging the gaps on defense

The Arizona Cardinals might not have plugged every hole on defense, but things aren't leaking as badly as they were earlier in the season.

The Cardinals might not have plugged every hole in their defense, but things aren't leaking as badly as they did in the first two weeks.

Now, they have to find a watch to patch up the offense.

The defense wasn't great against the Giants. It did yield two touchdowns in the final five minutes in the 31-27 loss. But it also played well in the first three quarters, and forced turnovers that resulted in 10 points.

It's the offense's fault that it wasn't more. The Cardinals had three possessions inside the Giants 20 in the first half, yet came away with only six points.

The biggest problem is converting on third downs. The Cardinals are 6 of 26 in their last two games, including 1 of 8 in the fourth quarters of those two games.

Quarterback Kevin Kolb is going through growing pains with this offense. While he's made some good throws and led some impressive drives, he's also made poor decisions.

Many of his passes haven't been sharp, and he still seems conflicted about when to move from the pocket and when to hang in.

Even with the defensive collapse, the Cardinals had the ball in their hands with a chance to win late. That's been the case in each of their three losses. They've failed each time, and the last two failures are largely due to Kolb's mistakes.

He had an interception in Seattle, and against the Giants he took a sack on a screen pass that was perfectly set up. That turned a second-and-1 situation into third and 11. The Cardinals couldn't gain a first down in two plays, effectively ending the game.


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